You may think that if your teeth aren’t hurting, you have no need for a dentist, right? Not so. There’s good reason for the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When it comes to your oral health, prevention could very well save your teeth — as well as your life.
What Is in a Checkup?
It is typically recommended that you have a regular checkup every six months. The main benefit of the checkup is in catching dental problems early, before they become more serious issues. You may require fewer or more appointments depending upon your circumstances. The typical checkup is made of two parts, the cleaning and the exam.
No matter how well you maintain a schedule of brushing and flossing, there will be areas that you miss where plaque will form. When that plaque is left too long, it hardens into tartar, which can cause gum recession and periodontal disease. Tartar can only be removed in the dentist’s office using special tools designed for it. Your hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar, polish your teeth, and look for obvious signs of tooth and gum problems to report to the dentist.
Your exam will usually include X-rays to look for hidden problems that aren’t otherwise noticeable. You’ll be checked for cavities and gum disease, and for signs of oral cancer. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, one person dies every hour from oral cancer. This exam may be the only time you are checked for it, and early detection is important for successful treatment. This is also when your prior dental work can be checked and any additional work that is necessary can be scheduled.
After your cleaning and exam, your dentist will go over the findings and together you can determine what treatment options may be needed. During an exam, your dentist can tell if bad habits such as bruxism, smoking, or pica have affected your oral health and can go over ways to improve your habits to improve your health.
Studies have shown a connection between good oral health and your overall well-being. A checkup will help lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, and more. By looking for the early warning signs of cavities and gum disease, a checkup can help you save your teeth. Removing plaque and tartar during a cleaning not only helps prevent decay, it helps you maintain a bright, white smile and fresh breath.
Checkups also save you money in the long run. The cleaning and exams are far less expensive than the costly procedures that may be required when your oral health is neglected. In fact, many dental plans have low or no co-payment requirements for checkups because carriers realize their value.
So, if you are in the Boca Raton, Florida area, contact us and avoid future problems by keeping ahead of them with an appointment for a cleaning and exam today!